New Delhi: Of the 10 Congress MLAs who joined the BJP in a silent sweep in Goa, three have been made Cabinet ministers. In the rejig on July 13, Chandrakant Kavalekar, Jennifer Monserrate and Filipe Nery Rodrigues were sworn in as ministers along with BJP leader Michael Lobo, who stepped down as Assembly Deputy Speaker.
Chandrakant Kavalekar: MLA from Quepem and till very recently the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavalekar is now the Deputy CM of the state. This is not the first time that a Congress Leader of Opposition has switched sides in Goa. In 2000, Ponda MLA and former CM Ravi Naik had joined the BJP under then-Chief Minister Late Manohar Parrikar. Till June, Kavalekar had been protesting against the installation of Savarkar’s portrait in the state secretariat, calling it an “insult to those who helped in getting Goa full statehood”.
Jennifer Monserrate: Goa’s first-time MLA from Taleigao, Jennifer is the wife of three-time legislator Atanasio Monserrate, who is facing trial for allegedly raping a minor in 2016. The Monserrates are the only couple to have been elected to the Goa Assembly, and both have now joined the BJP. The couple’s son was also booked for raping a German girl in 2011, though he was acquitted.
Filipe Nery Rodrigues: He is an MLA from Velim (South Goa) and is a Civil Engineer. He is one of those clean-image lawmakers with zero criminal case against him.
Michael Lobo: The Deputy Speaker of the Goa Assembly Michael Lobo has also resigned from the post and has joined the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet. Lobo belongs to the ruling BJP and submitted his resignation to Speaker Rajesh Patnekar.